In the September/October '11 issue of The Essential Herbal, Stephany Hoffelt wrote a great article about making elixirs, including some really interesting recipes. This is precisely the sort of article that sits in my brain without me even really being aware of it, only to jump out later and get me creating.
In May, my sister and I were at some herbal event and picked up some infused honeys. Mine was down at her house until the other day. I took it out of the bag and noticed that the hot weather this summer caused the overfilled bottle to ooze, so that jar of honey has been looking at me for about 2 days, stuck to a piece of scrap paper to protect the counter.
Suddenly, I thought about the elixir article. And we were off!
First stop (after grabbing a 24oz jar) was to go upstairs and choose some of the holy basil that was drying from the other day, and stuff that in the jar. As I was doing that, I started wishing there was some fresh mimosa around - and then I remembered a couple of ounces of '09 mimosa vintage tincture (heh heh), and thought.... why not?
Why NOT add tincture to an elixir rather than plain vodka or brandy?
First I poured most of the honey over the holy basil before adding an ounce or two of dried elderberries, and covering them with the rest of the honey. Then came the fragrant wild rose petals. Next the mimosa tincture, and then it was topped off with plain vodka (although I toyed with the idea of some echinacea, some osha, and a few others...).
This will be a very sweet elixir. I'm picturing it as something that will sweeten hot winter teas when the bugs and blues of the outside world come trying to break down my door. We almost never get sick here. Perhaps once every couple of years one of us will catch a virus. At our ages (excluding the "kids"), we have bigger fish to fry, but on the self-limiting stuff we do pretty well. The kids are still in college, so they have a lot more exposure.
Now where was I? Oh right. Working on the elixir....
Once everything was in the jar, it got stirred well with a stainless skewer to release any bubbles and get the mixing process going.
The lid went on and there was much shaking and turning end to end.
Finally, and perhaps equally important, the label. We'll try it in a few weeks. It may need some lemon peel and fennel seeds. Or maybe cinnamon and orange peel. Or it might just need a vanilla bean. Vanilla beans make everything better!
Yes, I know it's my turn to post pictures of my garden.
Yes, I know this is called procrastination.
That's not a crime, you know.